Thursday, May 1, 2008

Found: Odds and Ends

Bricks and shelves (i.e. functional kitchen) - Found. Yesterday the neighborhood hardware store man delivered the 21 tijolos (bricks) I bought Tuesday, gratis (for free).

Microwave - found. Thankfully, the microwave I left in the lobby last week was repaired and returned yesterday, gratis. It’s almost cheaper for a single person to skip the hassle and eat at restaurants here, and judging by a quality vs. cost analysis of the turkey stroganoff I just made, I think I’ll stick to reheating leftover pizza or rice and beans.

Mailbox key - found. Ênio called yesterday with some instructions which were (more or less): "Jean (pronounced sghee-AHH) will be at the apartment soon with your mailbox key. Yes, you can swap the sofa for the chairs you wanted (from Adam and Fabricia’s old apartment), and he’ll also change the refrigerator to open from the other side." Beleza. That man is so good to me. It’s not enough to just get him the Chicago Bulls hat he wanted. I think I have to find something more… to repay him for his wonderful help and generosity.

LOST - found. Thanks to Marcelo, I watched episode 9, twice. If you’re not a follower of the show, or if you haven’t yet experienced the kind of shock that accompanies moving to another country, it’s hard to explain the sensation. Suffice it to say that, watching the show last night, I felt like I had a close friend again. It was enormously comforting.

Did you ever see Eddie Izzard’s Dress To Kill video? He does a bit about people ferociously stuffing their faces with popcorn during big-budget Hollywood action flicks, which I remembered last night. LOST was totally made for snackin’ so I grabbed my emergency bag of Cheetos. Imagine my surprise when the first bite, unseen due to utter focus on show, rendered not the expected Cheetos crunch, but the puffy taste of Planter’s Cheese Balls. Strange, but whatever. Sawyer just called Hurley “chicken little!”

Upon landing on South American soil, it seems Fernandão and Girassol have found their revolutionary spirit. I read a few paragraphs of an article in Veja a few days ago about some big transportation strike in Santos. Supposedly there are 50,000 shipping containers stalled at the port, though subsequent internet searches yielded no confirmation of this. Well, I suspect the boxes are participating in a giant labor protest somewhere, Tchê.

The other day, I found an old barber playing a clarinet in his barbershop to pass the time. I smiled.
I also enjoyed a moment looking at this home. Situated on an interesting street that is actually just a giant staircase, the exterior is entirely painted with notable sites throughout the city (including the sunset).

I received a really nice email from Silvia today. I met her just a few months ago at Brazil In Chicago (shameless plug for Marcelo!) during my not-so-intermediate-Portuguese lesson. I believe we were in the midst of reading “See… Sput… no, Spot…Run…” when she arrived. At her turn to read, it was like she was channeling Érico Verrísimo as perfect Portuguese rolled from her tongue. At least, that’s how I remember it.

Anyhow, she wrote a nice message about the site and helped solve the mystery of the magenta fruit. It’s called (Red) Pitaya, at least in English- and Spanish-speaking countries. Just as the shocking color indicated, I’ve learned it’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. I must go back to Mercado Publico for another since I accidentally let that one spoil in the refrigerator after photographing it. When (if) I get my absolutely fierce Breville juicer back, watch out crazy fruits!

In closing, here's a photo I liked but haven’t yet worked into a storyline (probably a good thing). Say it like this: cah-ho sh-hockey. You can see it better if you click on it.

Bom fim de semana,